San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson interviewed by NHL Live on Tuesday

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Thursday, February 24, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

San Jose Sharks EVP/GM Doug Wilson was interviewed by NHL on the Fly’s Ken Reid on Tuesday. Wilson discussed the recent play of Antti Niemi, whether the Sharks would need to make additional moves at the 2011 NHL trade deadline, whether he feels the need to react to big trades in the Western Conference, and how he feels the tight standings will affect the number deals made by next Monday.

(On Antti Niemi) He has been really important. He has come in and integrated with out group. He had a short, and a very distracted summer, but he has come in and played the way we thought he would. We are very fortunate (Antero) Niittymaki played very well for us too, he went 12-6-3. Antti has certainly carried the workload lately. He is playing as well as any goalie in the league we think.

(What are Sharks needs at trade deadline?) We have made some moves. We have really added four players in the last little while. Ben Eager, Kyle Wellwood, we picked up Ian White the other day, and in an internal fix we brought up (defenseman) Justin Braun, who has played very well for us. White and Braun are both right shooting defenseman that seem to be few and far between. We think they will be a good addition to our squad.

(Any tempation to react to other big trades?) We always take a look at what our specific needs are. Sometimes that gets dictated to you by injuries, or by maybe a suspension. We have made big trades in the past, whether it be the Thornton trade, Heatley or Boyle. If they come along, make sense, and make your hockey team better, you do them. Sometimes you have to take a look specifically at what you need, and take a look at how your team has been performing individually and collectively. Then what you need to do to improve your squad.

(On the tight West impacting the deadline) I think you have seen a lot of trades made earlier than in the past. That is because there will only be 19 games left after the trade deadline. You do have to factor in integration time, whether a player is coming from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference system of play. Whether he has familiarity with other players on the team, or the coaching staff. You factor that in. I think you will see trades, I think the parity will stand in the way of a lot more trades happening, but I think you will be surprised every year.

Also featured recently on the NHL Network was analyst Darren Dreger breaking down the San Jose Sharks trade for offensive defenseman Ian White. Dreger noted the wait for a White trade to be finalized, a period where he was held out of the lineup but practiced with the team the next day. There was a similar brief holding period a year earlier when defenseman Niclas Wallin was traded from Carolina to San Jose. Dreger mentioned the holdup on the Sharks deal for a defenseman was the insistence by many teams on the inclusion of 24-year old power forward Devin Setoguchi. A Setoguchi who has scored 10 goals in his last 14 games. “Doug Wilson is no dummy, he is not going to give up on a good young talent in Devin Setoguchi. Who knows, as early as next year he could be a 40 goal scorer,” Dreger said. 40 goals by next season would be the extreme edge of Setoguchi’s development curve, but he has all the tools to be an elite power forward. The only thing he lacks is experience.

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